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How to download, install and play a Minecraft experimental snapshot

Test out the latest Minecraft features on PC before they’re officially released

Updated: Apr 11, 2022 1:07 pm
How to download, install and play a Minecraft experimental snapshot

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Want to test out the very latest Minecraft features and gameplay mechanics? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to download and play a Minecraft experimental snapshot on Java edition.

Minecraft gets a massive, game-changing update every year, and before they’re released, Mojang Studios takes several opportunities to test them out. This means that you and I and every other Minecraft Java Edition player has the opportunity to test out brand-new Minecraft mechanics before they’re introduced to the main game. The very first iteration of a new Minecraft update is the experimental snapshot, so we’re going to take a look at just how you can access these on your PC version of Minecraft.

How to download and play Minecraft experimental snapshot

Experimental snapshots, as the earliest releases in a new Minecraft update, have to be intentionally downloaded from Minecraft.net and installed into Minecraft folders. This is probably because they can be temperamental, and if your world is lost or corrupted, you can’t go moaning to Mojang because you knew the risks!

So, in order to start the process, you’ll first need to locate the desired snapshot download on the Minecraft website. This in itself isn’t always easy, but they’ll usually be announced in the Newest News section on Minecraft.net. For the purposes of this article, we’ll use 1.19 Deep Dark Experimental Snapshot 1, which could be found in the “A Very Scary Snapshot” news article from February 2022.

Minecraft experimental snapshot

How to install an experimental snapshot step-by-step

  • When you’ve found it, download the .zip file
  • Unzip the file, and move its contents to your PC’s .minecraft/versions folder
  • Start Minecraft Launcher (If you already had it open, you will need to close and restart)
  • Navigate to the Installations tab
  • Click New Installation
  • Name it, and choose the desired snapshot, which should now appear in the dropdown menu
New Install
  • Click Create
  • The Installation will now appear in the list, click Play

And voila! You’ll be able to create a brand-new Minecraft world featuring all the newest mechanics from your chosen snapshot.

How to locate your Minecraft/versions folder

If you are unable to locate your computer’s Minecraft application data folder, then follow the steps below.

On Windows PCs

  • Type Win+R (Or launch the Run app from Start)
  • Type %appdata%.minecraft
  • Press OK

On Mac OS X

  • In the Finder’s Go menu, select “Go to Folder”
  • Enter ~/Library/Application Support/minecraft

You can also access the folder from via Minecraft on any PC

  • Open Minecraft Launcher
  • Click Play
  • Select “Options”
  • Go to “Resource Packs” and click “Open Pack Folder”
  • This will take you to .minecraft/resourcepacks, just go back one folder, and you’ll be able to see /versions
Open Pack Folder

More Minecraft guides

And head over to our Minecraft hub for even more news, guides and how-tos!

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